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MEPS 341:45-57 (2007)  -  doi:10.3354/meps341045

Distribution and partitioning of nitrogen and phosphorus in a fringing reef lagoon of Ishigaki Island, northwestern Pacific

Toshihiro Miyajima1,*, Hiroshi Hata2,3, Yu Umezawa1,4, Hajime Kayanne2, Isao Koike1

1Ocean Research Institute, The University of Tokyo, Minamidai 1-15-1, Nakano, Tokyo 164-8639, Japan
2Department of Earth and Planetary Science, The University of Tokyo, Hongo 3-8-1, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan
3Present address: Hazama Technical Research Institute, Karima 515-1, Tsukuba 305-0822, Japan
4Present address: Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Motoyama 457-7, Kamigamo, Kyoto 603-8047, Japan

ABSTRACT: Concentration of dissolved and particulate carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) were measured daily and seasonally in the water column of a coral reef lagoon at Ishigaki Island. Concentrations of dissolved inorganic N and P (DIN, DIP), dissolved organic C and N (DOC, DON), particulate organic C, and particulate N and P (POC, PN, PP) were usually higher in the lagoon than at offshore stations, while dissolved organic P (DOP) was higher at the offshore stations than in the lagoon. Concentration ratios of DIN:DIP and PN:PP were near 16:1 in winter and >20:1 in summer. DON:DOP was always ≥30. Total P (DIP + DOP + PP) was fairly constant around 0.177 ± 0.025 µmol l–1 (mean ± SD), suggesting conservative behavior of water-column P around this reef. DIP and PP seemed to be produced at the expense of DOP, and PP rather than DIP increased when gross primary production (GPP) was high. In contrast, total N (DIN + DON + PN) showed large spatial and seasonal variation from 4.3 to 12.4 µmol l–1. DON and PN increased when GPP and DIN:DIP were high, which suggests that export production of organic N by the lagoon biota was enhanced by primary production and the availability of N relative to P. Estimation of C, N, and P exchange fluxes between the lagoon and the outer ocean using a simple hydrodynamic model showed that the lagoon ecosystem released N (especially DIN) but not P to the surrounding ocean. Oceanic DOP could be the major source for the P budget of the lagoon. While the lagoon was a net source of organic C to the outer ocean, the net export was only a minor fraction (<5%) of gross exchange of organic C between these 2 ecosystems.

KEY WORDS: N/P stoichiometry · Coral reef biogeochemistry · Dissolved organic matter · Seasonal variation · Gross primary production · East China Sea

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